Effective scheduling and dispatching is a complex, dynamic process for field service businesses. It requires quickly understanding the needs of each customer who calls in, knowing which technicians have the skills and equipment for the job, and finding time in their schedule that works for the customer — all while trying to provide a speedy customer experience.
Managing scheduling and dispatching manually makes the job doubly difficult because CSRs often don’t have this knowledge immediately at-hand. This causes a number of time-consuming and error-prone steps, such as:
Putting callers on hold to search for additional information.
Scrambling to find the right time slot to book and a tech to send out.
Mentally calculating how much time a tech will need to do the job.
Calling techs to figure out their availability.
Doing all of the above again if it turns out the customer isn’t available at that time or on that day.
Plus, you run the risk that a potential customer hangs up because they’ve been waiting on hold for too long.
Many businesses in the field service industry (e.g. HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc.) are looking to field service dispatch software as a solution to these difficulties. A well-designed dispatch app can make it easy for CSRs and dispatchers to assign the right techs, with the right skills, to the right jobs — on the fly.
However, it’s important to consider that some apps on the market are solely built for scheduling and dispatching, and often, they don’t seamlessly integrate with the other tools you use to run your business: apps for building estimates and proposals, work orders, invoicing and more.
If these apps don’t integrate seamlessly with one another, you and your team will spend time repetitively re-entering the same data in each platform, and potentially make crucial errors in the process.
To avoid these issues, many contractors are looking to holistic field service management software (FSM), like ServiceTitan, instead of singularly focused dispatch apps. FSM software gives your staff tools to efficiently manage scheduling and dispatching in addition to the other essential parts of your business: call booking, estimates, invoicing, payments, financing, marketing, payroll, time tracking, reporting, accounting, inventory management, and more.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how the scheduling and dispatching features of our software work, and specific capabilities that set our dispatching features apart from other apps on the market.
Below, we cover:
Office experience: The desktop side of our platform used by CSRs, dispatchers, and office staff to schedule jobs and dispatch field technicians.
Field experience: The mobile side of our platform used by techs in the field to view their schedules, job details, service history, navigate to jobs throughout their work day, and more.
Online booking: A website widget available to ServiceTitan users that allows customers to book jobs directly through a service business’s website (based on current schedule and capacity).
To find out more about how ServiceTitan streamlines your scheduling and dispatch process, as well as provide a full range of tools to manage your service operations, schedule a free personalized demo here.
Office Experience: Streamlining Scheduling & Dispatching for CSRs and Dispatchers
The ServiceTitan workflow begins when a customer calls your company with a service request. Our call booking feature automatically shows CSRs if the caller is a new or repeat customer and guides them through the booking process, ensuring they gather all necessary information. This fosters consistency and accountability among your entire CSR team.
If a caller is an existing customer, the CSR has access to their name and address, complete past job history (estimates, work orders, invoices, etc.), property data, and more — right at their fingertips — without needing to pull up their information from somewhere else.
This helps CSRs spot opportunities to sell additional services, such as preventative maintenance contracts or equipment upgrades, and to provide a better customer experience by greeting them by name and asking questions about how previous work is performing. It also prevents reps from trying to sell services that have already been done.
Advanced Capacity Planning: Improve Profitability While Making CSRs’ Lives Easier
When it comes time to schedule an appointment, CSRs can easily see available time slots in the upcoming weeks without leaving the original screen (as is necessary in many other dispatch apps).
And with our Advanced Capacity Planning feature — a feature that’s unique to ServiceTitan — business owners can set parameters that allow them to seamlessly implement a capacity strategy.
For example, you can set rules to reduce or exclude annual maintenance appointment slots from a busy holiday week and increase the capacity for high-priority, urgent service calls. Or you can choose to increase capacity for maintenance appointments during slow times.
This is a game-changer because it’s automated into your booking system so that CSRs don’t even need to think about this. They will only see availability based on the parameters you set, ensuring you’re following a profitable scheduling strategy.
Once the appointment is selected, it’s automatically reflected in the dispatch board and the assigned tech’s personal schedule (which they can view via our mobile app, as we’ll demonstrate below).
Easy-to-Use Dispatch Board: Adjust Schedules on the Fly, Communicate with Techs, and Keep Customers Informed
The dispatch board is straightforward and easy to navigate. Tab options include:
And jobs that are Working, Paused, Done, Canceled, or On Hold.
Dispatchers can clearly see which jobs are assigned to a service technician and which aren’t. They can quickly assign jobs to techs or make schedule adjustments on the fly with our simple drag-and-drop functionality.
There is no need to move job details into a new appointment one-by-one for rescheduled jobs. Office staff can simply drag and drop the entire job, with or without the previously assigned technician, into a new timeframe in a single move. The duration of a job can also be extended or reduced when a job takes more or less time than originally expected.
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As technicians go about their day, dispatchers are kept up-to-date through the activity feed (also visible right within the dispatch board screen). This feed provides updates on when techs are en route to a job, when they arrive, and when they’ve completed jobs and are moving to the next one. It also provides real-time GPS tracking to see where techs are as they drive between appointments.
In addition, dispatchers can message techs within the dispatch board, providing streamlined communication with techs in the field. They can also send out group messages to the entire service team, when needed.
Finally, included with our dispatching feature set is the ability to send out automatic customer notifications for a range of job-status updates. These include:
Appointment reminders and job confirmation requests.
Changes to appointment times.
Notifications that their tech is due to arrive soon.
Whenever a customer confirms their appointment, or a job is canceled, or anything else changes in a job, the customer can be notified. Dispatchers also receive an alert in their activity feed. This feed is visible at the bottom of their dispatch board and helps dispatchers get an overview of where the day’s jobs stand and which appointments need to be rescheduled, extended, or otherwise altered.
Field Experience: Everything Techs Need at Their Fingertips
Equally important to the office experience is the mobile experience for techs in the field.
Via our mobile app (compatible with Android and iOS devices), each tech’s dashboard page shows them their appointments for the day. They can click on the individual job cards to view job details including:
Customer name and address
Type of service booked
Customer call recording
Directions to the job
If you set optional permissions for them to do so, techs can manually dispatch themselves to each new job as they set off for their next appointment, and a customer notification is then sent out. They can also provide the office with status updates (such as “arrived” when they’ve reached a job site).
As new appointments are scheduled, or existing appointments are rescheduled, changes are reflected in real-time within the technician’s dashboard.
Using our route-optimization feature, techs’ daily schedules can be optimized to visit jobs in the order that makes the most sense based on their locations. They can also be rerouted to avoid delays as traffic conditions change.
Crucially, like dispatchers, techs have the ability to send and receive messages from their phone or tablet, making it easy for them to stay in the loop about schedule changes, or communicate with the office about jobs. This also allows them to answer questions from the office without interrupting their workflow to take a call. Chat and message history is available for 14 days, so both techs and office staff can look back on what was previously said and check on details that were agreed upon.
Web-Booking Experience: Automated Scheduling via Our Website Widget
In addition to our scheduling and dispatching functionality, ServiceTitan gives you a website widget that allows customers to schedule appointments online. This saves time for dispatchers and provides customers with a simple way of booking appointments, which customers increasingly prefer.
The web widget syncs with ServiceTitan’s dispatch board and shows real-time availability, so jobs are immediately confirmed. The tool never suggests times that are not available, so you don’t have to worry about double bookings. Homeowners manage the booking completely on their own. Appointments can also be canceled or rescheduled through a link that is sent out by email or text message.
Because our widget is fully integrated with ServiceTitan’s base package, you don’t need to wrestle with APIs or pay a separate fee for a third-party online call-booking tool that you have to manage in a separate interface.
An All-in-One Software Solution for Field Service Companies
ServiceTitan goes beyond service dispatch software. Our cloud-based desktop and mobile app provides a comprehensive management solution that brings automation, integration with QuickBooks accounting software, marketing solutions, invoicing, and more to your business.
Our job-scheduling and dispatch-management features seamlessly integrate into the rest of your service business workflow, and give you tools to manage all your other business needs, including:
Mobile invoices/payment processing
Flat rate pricing
Memberships and contracts
To find out more about how ServiceTitan streamlines your scheduling and dispatch process, as well as provide a full range of tools to improve your workflow, profitability, and customer satisfaction, schedule a free personalized demo.
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.